Who's shooting with Zeiss Ikon ZM
I've had one more canon body stop working on me last day. This left me without a "good" film system. I have a couple of bodies here and there with random 50mm lenses on it, but no wides, no teles in one package.
Now I am rethinking my equipment history and the cost/benefit ratios of the equipment I bought.
From that, considering I am not a heavy user, any new body I probably wouldn't be able to wear down.
I regret not buying the FM3a while it was still new at BHphoto. I almost pulled the trigger on it, but then decided to buy into Canon FD. A wonderful journey filled with shutter squeaks, erratic bodies and ruined shoots.
I don't want to bother with fully mechanical cameras anymore. Just like mechanical watches, they're largely a thing of the past. I want to know what time it is, and quartz does quite a good job.
So, I want:
1) an electronically timed shutter
2) easily accessible batteries
3) a new body that is currently manufactured
Bessa seems one obvious choice, but I don't see the real quality in it. 600 bucks for a camera is cheap.
New leicas are out of the pricerange.
Zeiss Ikon ZM seems like a good choice and fits the bill. It only costs as much as a prosumer DSLR and seems to have a decent viewfinder specs at .72 magnification, which I need for my wides.
It seems I have found my cam.
Does anybody have one?
I bought one in January this year, with the 50 mm Planar. It's perfect for what I want (lightweight system for travelling & street photography) but of course it's a rangefinder, so no teles, no macro. Think I'll be getting some wider lenses soon
What are you looking for?
I have one too, since its importation in Europe. It's a very wonderful camera body, and a wonderful lens (planar 50mm). Viewfinder is one of the greatest on the market (if not the best) ! Clearly, think it's better than a leica for a better price.
I would probably buy one if the price comes down.
The 85mm lens has a killing price . Also - if the weight is a concern a similar setup from Voigtlaender would be lighter. But I agree - it is a woderfull camera and the viewfinder is tempting. If you can afford the body plus the lenses you want - I do not see a reason to hesitate. Last but not least - you can mix lesnes with other systems as well (I have the Voigltaender 90/3.5 Apo Lanthar in mind here)
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I have one too. It's fantastic. You read that it's less durable than the Leicas, and it kind of feels that way because it is so much lighter. However, I have had absolutely no problems with it, and I think that is basically internet mud-slinging. The widest frameline is 28mm. -Laura
I have a ZM I've found it to be a great camera - with a great viewfinder. I use an 90mm/3.5 Apo Lanthar as my long lens in my kit. My normal lens is the 21mm (yes, I have the excellent 50mm Planar - but I rarely ever use it).
Everything is analog - even digital :D
dont write off the bessa bodies on quality grounds - the newer models are very good quality for the price. And the r4a has the 21mm frame lines in the viewfinder - dont forget, if you're shooting wider than 28 on the ZI, you'll need auxiliary viewfinders making focusing an extra difficulty (if the wider lenses you'll be using are rf coupled ....). The step from slr to rangefinder shooting is quite large as I'm sure you've considered
The big plus for this camera is the number of lenses available. Not just the Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, but the older Leitz M-series lenses and the even older Leica screw mount lenses of various brands that are adaptable to the M mount. Of course, in my opinion, the Bessa R2A looks even better based solely on price.
One advantage of the Zeiss Ikon is the wide base rangefinder. It provides for accurate focusing -- much more than the Bessa.
However, with wide lenses, you can get away with small focusing errors.
The Bessa cameras are great value for the money. And the build quality and use of metal parts (instead of plastic) seem to have increased with each subsequent model.
The earliest camera -- the L -- is very lightweight with a lot of plastic ... a lot. Even so, it has worked well enough for me. And my Bessa-R was a very good camera.
The Zeiss Ikon sits in a very nice niche in terms of price for those who can afford more than a Bessa but aren't willing or aren't able to afford a Leica M.
The Zeiss Ikon body is very tight without being heavy. Excellent build quality. And the viewfinder is good for the 25mm lens, as well.
I've been very pleased with it.
If I were to recommend a rangefinder to a novice and to someone who wanted a new camera and not used, I would suggest trying the Bessa cameras first.
The rangefinder experience isn't for everyone.